Erin Explores

by Erin Elaine

Zaanse Shans, Holland

Zaanse Shans is an outdoor museum full of 300-yr-old windmills that have been carefully kept in working order. You can even go inside and see grain or spices or dyes being ground!

It’s very windy here! Who would’ve thought…?


There were lots of single-family homes, possibly passed down through generations or possibly for the current workers of the town. After all, they need people to run the windmills, not to mention the cheese shop, clog store, and a few restaurants.

The view across the water was beautiful.

I met some friendly goats in a yard. I wonder if their milk is used in the adjacent mini cheese factory?

I toured a windmill that grinds spices. It would intermittently start up while I was inside, and the whole building shook! It also smelled amazing.

Next I toured a mill for grinding dyes. Some of the descriptions explained which minerals were used for each color, it was really interesting!

You could also climb to the upper platform of this windmill – it was so cold and windy up there!

I got to see cocoa beans being hand-ground and turned into chocolate.

Last but not least, clog shop/museum! I really loved the intricately carved ones.

I really enjoyed my visit to Zaanse Shans. It’s an incredibly picturesque town filled with history you can appreciate first-hand. Coming here, and to Waterland, made me want to spend more time exploring Holland. I would love to return one day in the spring or summer, and do more wandering.

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This entry was posted on April 12, 2014 by in Architecture, Netherlands, Photos, Travel and tagged , , , .

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